cyber crime

WannaCry ransomware attack: French researchers claim to have found ‘fix’ that will restore files

Meanwhile, North Korea said reports linking it with the global cyber attack were ‘ridiculous’.

A group of French researchers on Friday claimed they have found a way to prevent the WannaCry ransomware from permanently blocking the Windows files of users who refuse to pay the money demanded by the hackers. With the largest number of computers having been hacked last Friday, the week-long deadline to save the files has almost run out, Reuters reported.

The group of researchers, who are based out of different cities, includes security expert Adrien Guinet, Matthieu Suiche, an internationally known hacker, and Benjamin Delpy, who works at the Banque de France. The team collaborated on how to unlock the encryption key that blocks the files, and have named their code “wanawiki”.

The researchers, however, added that “wanawiki” will only work on computers that have not been rebooted since being infected and if the owners use it before the files are permanently locked. The system is expected to work on all Windows Operating Systems that have been affected by WannaCry.

The WannaCry cyber attack is believed to have been developed by using a leaked code from the United States National Security Agency. Researchers from various cyber security firms said the hackers made a self-spreading malware by exploiting a piece of NSA code. The code, known as “Eternal Blue”, was stolen and released on April 14 by a group called Shadow Brokers.

Meanwhile, North Korea denied it had anything to do with the attack, Reuters added. “Relating to the cyber attack, linking it to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is ridiculous,” the country’s Deputy United Nation Ambassador Kim In Ryong told a media conference on Friday. “Whenever something strange happens, it is the stereotype way of the United States and the hostile forces that kick off noisy anti-DPRK campaign deliberately linking with DPRK.”

Earlier, security companies Symantec and Kaspersky Lab had said the WannaCry software had a code that was identified in the programmes used by North Korea cybergang Lazarus Group. “This is the best clue we have seen to date as to the origins of WannaCry,” Kaspersky Lab researcher Kurt Baumgartner had said.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.